|Launched||12 September 2016|
Free login and registration are required to watch on demand content on RaiPlay. Initially, access has been required only for the app, but since 21 August 2017, it is also required when using the browser.
RaiPlay has accounts on the main social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) where the latest content and live streaming is shared. The site is also available for smartphones with the dedicated app downloadable from Microsoft Store, Google Play and App Store. Commercials are managed by Rai Pubblicità.
RaiPlay was created on 9 January 2007 as Rai.tv and operated by Rai Net. The website allowed viewers to watch and listen to programs entirely or partially produced by Rai. The availability of programs was subject to copyright. The website also hosted exclusive content including interviews, extras, specials and blogs. A podcasting service was also made available from RaiPlay. Until January 2009, the app used by the site to play files had been Windows Media Player 11. Since February 2009, Rai.tv used Silverlight for video streaming while choosing Silverlight or RealPlayer for audio content (of radio channels). Microsoft Silverlight limited the availability of live video streaming exclusively to Microsoft users.
From 2007 to 2014 many videos have been available on the Rai's Youtube channel, but in 2014 the broadcaster decided not to renew the partnership with the famous web site, removing 150 000 videos in a 9 year period. The economic loss due to this decision has been estimated at €1,5 million.
On 12 September 2016, Rai.tv became RaiPlay, renewing its graphics and functions but not including the live streaming or radio content. RaiPlay has been available on Smart TV since December 2016.
Since 1 June 2017, during the airing of the second season of Non uccidere, all episodes of new seasons belonging to Rai series or purchased from other broadcasters were made available online via RaiPlay Anteprima.
On 30 October 2019 a huge update was released, making the app look more similar to other services like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. On 5 November of the same year, the first original show of the service, Viva RaiPlay!, was released. This program also aired on Rai 1 until 8 November. On 13 November, it became a RaiPlay exclusive.
On the home page are shown news or exclusive content, collections of programs divided in sections which will be customized if logging on with a RaiPlay account.
On the sidebar (which can be opened by clicking on the dedicated button) are available these sections:
- Guida TV (Tv guide) / Replay, with the list of channels and programs in chronological order which integrate the Replay function allowing to re-watch a program already aired;
- Dirette (Live TV's), where users can watch in live streaming the TV channels of Rai;
- Programmi (Shows), with a list of programs organized in alphabetical order and divided in sections;
- Ultimi visti (Last shown), I miei preferiti (My favourites) and Guarda dopo (Watch later), available after register or login.
- "RAI TV diventa RAI PLAY, nuovi loghi e cambio grafica". Televisionando (in Italian). 12 September 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
- "Nasce Rai.tv il nuovo portale video di Rai". Digital News (in Italian). 9 January 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
- "La Rai divorzia da YouTube per i video". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). 31 May 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
- "La Rai riscopre YouTube dopo aver perso un milione e mezzo". Tom's Hardware (in Italian). Retrieved 15 February 2019.